At the ass-crack of dawn, I got out of bed and hoofed it to Moscone South in San Francisco for the start of the GDC proper, kicked off by a keynote with one half of the Nintendo fanboy’s wet dream, Satoru Iwata, president of the Big N. The line, as expected, was around the block, and I ended up passing the time by measuring my growing distaste for humanity before finally getting in and being seated. The talk, though, “Discovering New Development Opportunities,” was worth the wait. We laughed, we cried, we hemmed and hawed, and I’m not saying there were some tits, but I am certainly making the implication. Hit the jump for what you need to know about Iwata-san’s keynote, recorded moment by moment.
The Cool8800C works like an ordinary cell phone with touchscreen until you unfold it and it becomes a mini-gaming system with a second screen with audio/video/NES compatibility. Other features of the 120 x 55 x 23 device is dual-band GSM with GPRS, Bluetooth and e-book capability, an FM tuner, 1GB memory and microSD and TF card slots. We dig the idea and the $140.00 price, but we are thinking that you might have to practice to get the hang of the gaming aspect.
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Nintendo has released this year’s game schedule for the Wii and DS/DSi. Titles include Punch-Out, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits, the Conduit, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Check out the full list at the link. We think that this is a good time on their part as it seems that Wally World is already allowing pre-order for the DSi for $169.00, with no mention of any games, even though the mini-game system is compatible with many DS titles.
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Nintendo has announced that the DSi will be coming to Europe April 3 and to North America April 5. Packed into the game system is thinner hardware, a larger screen, camera and an SD card slot. This version comes in black or blue and will cost $170.00, which is only $40.00 more than the DSLite and about $40.00 less than those selling overseas. No games titles have yet to be announced but we expect those will be coming along soon.
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If you dug the old NES game PunchOut, then you will surely like “kirton’s” interface. He took a foam filled bag with impact sensors then wired them to a PC game pad. This transfers the impact of the game through an NES emulator. The software also includes visual feedback as the sprite turns pink when hit and an LED indicator flashes. Eventually, he wants to include a strobe light to emulate character disorientation when punched. You can get all the details on Instructables.
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If you find yourself still playing Classic video games, take a trip in time at Arcade Cow. They feature over 7000 free games that they have collected. Included are various action, arcade, strategy and puzzle games. They are all free to play and gamers can post on the forum and rate them. Those who remember the addictive play of Mario Bros. and Castlevania should be pleased and although they appear elementary now, younger players may appreciate the roots of today’s gaming.
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Chinavasion has a portable DVD player with TV that will handle most disc formats. It has a 9-inch LCD swivel screen, an analog TV tuner, and SD and USB card slots. It also features an 8 bit Nintendo emulator and gamepad, can display photos and play music. The 251 x 42 x 195mm device comes in black, has 2.5 hours of viewing per battery charge and comes at a $133.50 price.
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Japan has finally realized the full monetary potential of the Wii. Beginning next year, streaming video will be available through Nintendo and partnering companies. While players are watching some of that content, they will be able to order sushi, pizza, and Japanese and Chinese food. And if Japanese gamers don’t know what to order, the roulette mode will randomly make a selection. If it picks pizza, it’s time to get back to the Wii.
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Using a clever advertising strategy, Nintendo will allow you to make a personalized wish list to your folks, family or friends from Mario. It only takes a couple of minutes to fill in the personal information, the holiday you are shopping for, the color of the Nintendo DS and 3 games you want. You can preview your message and send it by phone or email. We tried to set one up with the simple name of Mom and were told that was too difficult to pronounce. We just hope your name isn’t Poindexter.
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What better way to celebrate Barack Obama’s becoming the President-elect than with a round or two of Super Obama World? Played similarly to Super Mario, the ZenSoft game features pigs and flags and John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. The game is free for all and if you are a hardcore Barack/Mario fan, there are t-shirts to go with them. Creators Robert Sundling & William Jacobson will be releasing additional levels that will include Arizona, Illinois and D.C.
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